UK Young Scientist and UK Young Engineers of the Year announced

Rogan McGilp (age 16), Stuart Chau (17), Ethan Dunbar Baker (15) and Roxanne El-Hady (18) took the top prizes in the National Science + Engineering Competition at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair.

A team of three, Rogan, Stuart and Ethan from Old Swinford Hospital School in Stourbridge were named UK Young Engineers of the Year for building a unique Hot Rod car from scratch for Rogan’s disabled brother, David (13).

The judges commended the “David’s Wheels” project for building a Hot Rod with complete disability access within three months, driven by the desire to help a young disabled person. The judges also commended the team for coming together from different school years through their passion for the project.

Roxanne El-Hady from Wimbledon was named UK Young Scientist of the Year for her investigation into climate change in South Wales. The judges commended her project, which discovered instances of rapid climatic variation over an 8,000-year period.

Over 200 finalists from across the country were selected to show their ideas at the Big Bang Fair where ten were then shortlisted to pitch Dragon’s Den-style to a panel of high profile judges yesterday, including astronaut Helen Sharman and Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock.

The National Science + Engineering Competition, organised by the British Science Association, is an annual contest open to pupils aged between 11-18, and gives participants the chance to compete for top prizes and international experiences worth over £50,000.

Previous winners include young people who have since gone on to be the youngest ever entrepreneurs to appear on BBC’s Dragon’s Den and feature in the Sport England #LikeAGirl campaign.

Paul Jackson, Chief Executive of EngineeringUK which organises The Big Bang Fair, congratulated the winners:

“The winners have been rightly recognised as some of the brightest sparks in the country. Their innovative thinking and fresh ideas stood out to the judges. They are not just prize winners, but inspirational stories for school children across the country.

“It’s easy to see why these ideas stood out to the judges but all the finalists are worthy of mention – not only for their exciting new ideas but for showcasing them to crowds of people at The Fair. This glimpse into the minds of the scientists and inventors of tomorrow promises great things for the future.”

Winner of the UK Young Engineer of the Year 2016 title, Rogan McGilp said:

“Becoming UK Young Engineers is an amazing achievement for Ethan, Stuart and I. David’s Wheels is not just about building a car for my brother, but we hope this will help change people’s perceptions about what’s possible for disabled people to do.

“My brother really loves the car we've built for him and hopefully we will inspire more people to make activities and entertainment more accessible to disabled children.”

Winner of the UK Young Scientist of the Year 2016 title, Roxanne El-Hady, said:

“I’m shocked to have been named Young Scientist of the Year. There are so many amazing entrants to the competition, ranging from looking at the toxicity of medicines through to the use of the earth’s magnetic field in MRI scans.

“I’m delighted that my project looking at climate change was picked by the judges as the winner. I’m looking forward to using my year as UK Young Scientist of the Year to encourage more people – especially women – into science and maths.”

The winners will continue to show their ideas to thousands of visitors to the annual Big Bang Fair at the NEC in Birmingham on 18th and 19th March, which aims to inspire other young people to consider a career in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Young visitors to The Fair will be able to explore everything from mind-controlled Scalectrix to the quantum mechanics of chocolate, with The Fair offering experiences in virtual reality, medicine, marine biology, film and TV, space exploration, explosive chemistry, crime-solving, robotics, computer coding, microscopic bugs and more. STEM professionals will also be in attendance to show how these exciting experiences can be part of a whole range of real world job opportunities.

Imran Khan, Chief Executive of the British Science Association, said:

“I am delighted that Rogan, Stuart, Ethan and Roxanne’s projects have been awarded these prestigious honours at The National Science + Engineering Competition this year. Their projects really stood out to the judges and they are an excellent reminder of just how innovative, creative and inspiring this year’s finalists have been.

“Now in its ninth year, our contest has become renowned for recognising, rewarding and inspiring thousands of talented youngsters in all areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We need to nurture a new generation of people who feel comfortable and confident engaging with science and engineering, and the Competition offers a great incentive to get youngsters experimenting to show them that science is for everyone.”

Free tickets to The Big Bang Fair are available now at www.thebigbangfair.co.uk. The Hot Rod team are on Twitter @stemprojectosh.

ENDS

Notes to editors

For more information or interviews with finalists, please contact: Monica Wilson – 07789 070 072 / monica.wilson@claremontcomms.com

About the National Science + Engineering Competition and The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair

* The National Science + Engineering Competition is open to 11-18 year olds from across the UK who have completed a project or activity in any field of science, technology, engineering or maths. Entries can come from teams or individuals.

* The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people in the UK. It takes place from 16-19 March 2016 at The NEC, Birmingham, and will celebrate and raise the profile of young people’s achievement in science and engineering and encourage more young people to take part in science, technology, engineering and maths initiatives and consider careers in these areas, with support from their parents and teachers. www.thebigbangfair.co.uk

* School groups are invited to visit the first three days of The Big Bang Fair and families on the Saturday, in particular parents and carers of 11-14 year olds. Young people will leave enlightened about how science and engineering feature in everything they wear, eat and do. A number of apprentice, graduate and experienced engineers and scientists will be on hand to quiz and young people will have the opportunity to discover how science and maths can lead to a great career. The Big Bang Fair hosts the finals of the prestigious National Science + Engineering Competition.

* For more information please visit www.nsecuk.org

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